What is OPERA music and its origin ?
The word "opera" means "work" in Italian (from the plural of Latin opus meaning "work" or "labour") suggesting that it combines the arts of solo and choral singing, declamation, acting and dancing in a staged spectacle. The form arose in Italy from a background of various forms of courtly entertainment, and though the first operas were modestly staged compared to other contemporary forms of sung drama, opera outlasted these, and was to make the transition from the court to the public theatre, having taken on the spectacular stagings typical of the intermedio.
"Dafne" by Jacopo Peri was the earliest composition considered opera, as understood today, although with only five instrumental parts it was much more like a chamber opera than either the preceding intermedi or the operas of Claudio Monteverdi a few years later. It was written around 1597, largely under the inspiration of an elite circle of literate Florentine humanists who gathered as the "Camerata" ...more